CAPS reinstate skipper Kumbuyani

HARARE - CAPS United have reinstated captain Tapiwa Kumbuyani for “showing remorse”, a week after sacking the fullback alongside six other senior players over a pay dispute.

The Harare club last week showed the exit door to Kumbuyani and teammates Shingi Kawondera, Itai Chiwara, Asani Nhongo, Luckson Kaisa, Washington Pakamisa and Nqobile Mpala after the players allegedly led a rebellion over non-payment of salaries and other dues for the past few months.

Giving its side of the story, the club admitted it could no longer afford to pay the players and was implementing the radical shake-up to “liberate the club’s pay roll” by offloading “average players” with “big contracts.”

Kumbuyani, who won a handful of caps for the Warriors in the last two years, is now expected to return to training today as the troubled former-time Zimbabwean champions resume preparations for the upcoming new season.

“We have found significant common ground and after serious discussion of where the club was coming from and where the club is going, and also a close understanding of his plight as a professional football player and the club’s objectives in the new season, we have reached a reconciliation of interests,” the club’s chief executive Joel Makuvire told the Daily News yesterday.

Makuvire added that Makepekepe officials softened their stance after Kumbuyani proved his loyalty to the club by expressing regret when the other axed players were already looking elsewhere.

Days after being fired by CAPS, striker Pakamisa reportedly trained with Dynamos last week in an apparent intention to join the champions while Mpala and Kaisa have been linked with moves to Highlanders and Black Mambas respectively.

Veteran striker Kawondera went a step further by claiming, in a newspaper report, that the United had asked him to play for free until the club’s financial situation improved.

Kumbuyani, on the other hand, expressed his willingness to continue his career with the Green Machine.

“The player indicated he will be happy to continue playing football at CAPS,” Makuvire said. “He is also the club captain. He understands the club culture and what is expected of him and his teammates. As a club we have given him the opportunity to prove to the fans that he is a worthy member of the club. As a club, we have given him the opportunity to continue showcasing his talent. I call upon the CAPS United family to rally behind him and not forget what he has done for the club and the loyalty he has shown. He has shown remorse. He did not imagine himself playing for any other club in Zimbabwe which is not CAPS. We welcome him back with all the love.”

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